March 2008

Child porn downloader is spared jail

A MAN who claimed he stumbled across child porn while searching the internet for modelling agencies for his young daughter has been spared jail.

Essex Police were tipped off by a sorting office after it received a package addressed to Terry Thurlow, 31, which contained a catalogue of naked children and a DVD with indecent photos of children.

When officers raided his home in Brisbane House, Leicester Road, Tilbury, on January 20 last year Thurlow handed them another catalogue and DVD along with a photo of a child from his pocket.

His computer was seized and when it was later examined a further 94 images of child porn were found.

At Basildon Crown Court on Monday Judge Michael Brooke QC sentenced Thurlow to a three-year community order with the requirement that he attends the Thames Valley Sex Offenders Treatment Programme and told him: “I do not impose a custodial sentence which would have been in weeks rather than months and would have inevitably been a suspended sentence given the state of the prison population and his previous good character.”

Judge Brooke QC said most of the images had been deleted but there was evidence that some had been viewed several time and “any suggestion of accident is not acceptable.”

He accepted Thurlow sank into a deep depression as a result of witnessing his friend being stabbed to death with a Samurai sword in a pub five years ago and he was getting the help he needed to address his psychiatric problems.

Thurlow, who pleaded guilty to 16 counts of making and possessing indecent images of children at an earlier hearing, was ordered to sign on the sex offenders’ register for five years.

The court also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of his computer hard drive and the other material seized.